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UK doctors given bonuses for placing patients on ‘death lists’ – report

(RT)    General practitioners in England have been receiving £50 bonuses for placing patients on controversial ‘death lists’ in order to reduce the number of occupied hospital beds. The move is yet another tactic aimed at cutting NHS costs, UK media reported.

Each death which occurs outside an NHS hospital has been calculated to save the health system some £1,000 ($1,600) in England. On average, deaths which occur inside NHS hospitals cost the service around £3,065 (just under $5000), while those elsewhere cost £2,107 (around $3,400).

Doctors have been given bonuses for drawing up ‘end-of-life advanced care plans’ for patients they predict will die within a year.

The payments in question apparently have the intention of keeping NHS costs as low as possible.

According to documents seen by the Daily Mail on Sunday, a “key objective” of the project – which underwent a trial period in England’s east – was “to shift the place of death” away from hospitals, thus“reducing …healthcare costs.”

“I think it’s got everything to do with money, with the cost of a hospital bed being £200 a day,”
 Dr Anthony Cole, acting chairman of the Medical Ethics Alliance, told the paper. He stated his belief that its advocates were mired in financial concerns, and suggested that it may result in insufficient medical care in a patient’s final days.

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